Florida Gators football coach Will Muschamp – entering his third year at the helm – has etched his own mark on the school’s program.
But one thing remains from the Urban Meyer regime: “Friday Night Lights” – an event started by Meyer in 2005 – allows players from around the country to participate in a series of drills and events under the bright lights of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in hopes of gaining interest and a potential scholarship offer. On Friday, several elite players from South Florida who already have the Gators’ attention will attend in search of more clarity regarding their college decision.
One player who planned to attend but had a change of plans is Homestead wide receiver Ermon Lane. Lane and his teammate, quarterback Maurice Alexander, were supposed to make the trip to Gainesville together but had a setback.
“As of now, I’m not going. Something happened with my ride,” Alexander said. “Me or Ermon won’t be going. I wanted to go, but it is what it is.”
Lane, a five-star recruit by 247Sports and four-star prospect by Rivals and Scout, has narrowed his list to three schools – Florida, Alabama and Miami – but told 247sports he’s taking no more visits, one day after telling the website he has a hunch which college he will choose.
“I’ve got an idea, but I’m just keeping it until I commit,” said Lane, who wants to end his recruitment before his senior season at Homestead begins.
Since attending Nike’s The Opening event in Oregon during the first week of July, Florida has appeared to be the leader for Lane’s services.
Miami Central running back Dalvin Cook, a UF oral commit who also attended The Opening and has been courting Lane to join him in Gainesville, said he felt Lane and UF quarterback commit Will Grier of Davidson (N.C.) High developed a “great connection” while playing together on the Alpha Pro team.
“I felt like [Lane] felt comfortable with [Grier],” said Cook, who spent some time on rival Florida State’s campus a week ago during the Seminoles’ camp.
In recent weeks – for what it’s worth – Lane has used pictures of himself with Grier and with Fort Lauderdale University School cornerback Quincy Wilson as his avatar photo on Twitter.
Lane and Wilson have grown into close friends since being teammates on the South Florida Express 7-on-7 travel team – so close they want to commit to the same school on the same day.
Wilson and Plantation cornerback Chris Lammons will end their road trip together this week in Gainesville after stops to Tennessee and South Carolina.
Wilson’s father, Chad, approves of his son’s decision to attend the same school with Lane because he is taking everything else into account when looking at prospective schools --- not just playing with Lane.
“He’s doing it for all the right reasons,” the elder Wilson said during Sunday’s Premier Athletes event at University School.
Other players in the Class of 2014 still planning to be in Gainesville for Friday’s event include Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna Prep defensive tackle and UF commit Khairi Clark, University School defensive end Richard Yeargin III, West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman wide receiver Travis Rudolph and FIU wide receiver commit Mike Boone of Baker County Senior High outside of Jacksonville.
Class of 2015 players expected to attend: Miramar cornerback Tyrek Cole, Miami Central wide receiver Da’Vante Phillips, Fort Lauderdale American Heritage cornerback Tarvarus McFadden, Coconut Creek Monarch wide receiver Calvin Ridley, and University School cornerback Rashard Causey. Miami Killian safety Jaquan Johnson and University School wide receiver Sam Bruce, both in the Class of 2016, also planned to attend.